Hospitals told to free up beds for ambulance strike

Posted: December 19th 2022


I don’t want to open up much of a debate about the industrial action but I do think it is important to note the wider challenges facing rural dwellers arising from stories like this. It tells us:

Hospitals should free up beds to prepare for "extensive disruption" caused by ambulance staff strikes in England, NHS bosses have urged.

They said patients need to be safely discharged where possible to enable ambulance staff to hand over patients.

Ambulance staff are to walk out on 21 and 28 December in a dispute over pay.

Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said freeing up more beds would be very difficult for hospitals to achieve.

"We don't hold up ambulances for fun," he told Radio 4's Today. "It really is difficult. We always want ambulances to return to the front line as quickly as possible and we've been struggling to do this in the last three years."

Asked what the solution was, he said it was not just provision of social care to enable elderly people to be discharged from hospital.

"We run our hospitals very tight compared to our European comparators," he said, adding: "It's not just about social care but about making sure our hospitals are big enough to cope."

The strike by ambulance staff on 21 December comes the day after a nurses' strike.

"It's something that makes everyone who works in this sector pretty anxious," said Dr Boyle